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Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Update: Police caught escaped prisoner on campus

University Police arrested Darius D. Phillips about 11 hours after he ran away with handcuffs on during an arrest.

UPD detained Phillips by the New Physics Building around 7:30 p.m., and he was given to Gainesville Police officers, who will bring him to the Alachua County Jail.

GPD arrested Phillips, 20, in the 1400 block of SW 42nd Street on charges of domestic battery and grand theft auto around 8:30 a.m., but he ran away while being moved from one cop car to another.

Phillips was originally sitting in the car of an officer who was on the midnight shift, which was coming to a close. Officers planned to put him in a different car and drive to the jail. But while escorting him to that second car, Phillips broke free and ran, GPD spokeswoman Cpl. Angelina Valuri said.

Phillips headed south, but officers and the Alachua County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit were unable to track him.

One witness told GPD she saw Phillips still in handcuffs climbing a fence near the Kensington Apartments on Southwest 20th Avenue shortly after he ran from police. He was later seen near the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center on Southwest 34th Street, Valuri said.

UF sent a text and email alert at about 10 a.m., warning students of the man's proximity to campus.

Maj. Brad Barber, spokesman for UPD, said the alert was sent to make sure the UF community was aware the prisoner could be on campus.

Phillips previously been arrested on charges of carjacking, robbery, resisting arrest and driving without a valid drivers license, according to county records.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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